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Marriage/Divorce/Remarriage

Marriage in the New Covenant

Mat 19:1 And it came to pass when Jesus had finished these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the borders of Judaea beyond the Jordan;

Mat 19:2 and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

Mat 19:3 And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a manto put away his wife for every cause?

 
There was a controversy among the Jews concerning the divorce law under the law of Moses (Deut 24:1-4),
one group (Hillel) said “for any (every) cause” (Mt 19:3), and the other (Shammai) said “only for adultery,”

 
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,

 
Jesus here takes them to the book of Genesis, chapter 1, “have you not read” refers to their

reading of this account, “the beginning” refers to Gen 1:1 . . .

 
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

 
“Made them male and female” is a reference to Gen 1:27 . . .

 
Gen 1:27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 
This verse of scripture (Mt 19:4) is a death blow to every sort of theistic evolutionary

doctrine, In Mark’s account it states, turn there (Mk 10:6) . . .

 
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them.

 
God did not make a big bang that led to the making of a single cell that evolved into

various species over millions of years ultimately resulting in man as we see him today,

that is a lie that makes Jesus a liar here, thus not a perfect sacrifice for the sins of

mankind, for if that were the case, He has His own sins to worry about,

 

But we know that this lie of the scientific world is just that, for Christ never sinned (2 Cor

5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22)

 

2Co 5:21 Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

 

Heb 4:15 For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yetwithout sin.

 

1Pe 2:22 who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

 

Mat 19:5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?

 
 
What constitutes marriage? It is not the physical relationship that constitutes marriage,
when this takes place between 2 people that are not married to one another this is fornication,
and is sinful, all adultery is fornication, but not all fornication is adultery (Heb 13:4).
 
 
 

Heb 13:4 Letmarriage be had in honor among all, and let the bed beundefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

 
 
 
Marriage takes place when a preacher or some other lawful entity (justice of the peace, ect)
joins them according to the laws of the land (Rom 13:1-2), combined with the fact that they
make an agreement before God. This is also conditional on the fact that both are qualified
Scripturally to be married. They must be either never previously married (Mk 10:7), or their
spouse has died (Rom 7:2).
 
 

Mat 19:6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

 
 
This is the rule of practice under the Christian dispensation, the New Covenant, which is the last age,
which is in effect until the end of time, and is thus “marriage is for life,” This is affirmed by other
verses in the NT (look at Rom 7:2; 1 Cor 7:39).
 
 
 

Rom 7:2 For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

 
 

1Co 7:39 A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

 
 
 
The sum of God’s word is truth (Ps 119:160), Jesus’ law is clear “Let not man put asunder (separate;
i.e. divorce)” in other words “divorce is not allowed.” many try to twist this in various ways, but the
truth has always been easy to understand (Eph 3:4), God has made it this way so we will be without
excuse on That Day
 
 

Mat 19:7 They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put heraway?

 
 

These Pharisees knew what Jesus said, this is why they put forth their question.

Under Moses divorce was allowed (Deut 24:1), but we are not under Moses, but Christ,

He has been given “all authority” (Mt 28:18), that leaves none for Moses or the prophets,

remember the words of the Father in Mt 17:5 . . .

 

Mat 17:5 . . . This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him!

 
 

The law of Moses has been abolished (Eph 2:15) . . .

 

Eph 2:15 having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, somaking peace;

 

Nailed to the cross of Christ (Col 2:14) . . .

 

Col 2:14 having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;

 

And for the individual that attempts to go back to that old law a warning is put forth in Gal 5:4,

 

Gal 5:4 Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the law; ye are fallen away from grace.

 

So let us keep in mind that what we are looking at is a question concerning the law of

Moses, which we are not under, let us see what Jesus’answer is . . .

 

Mat 19:8 He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so.

 
 

Lightfoot writes . . .

“God, indeed, granted to that nation a law concerning divorces, Deu_24:1; permitted only "for the hardness of their hearts," Mat_19:8; in which permission, nevertheless, they boast, as though it were indulged them by mere privilege. When God had established that fatal law of punishing adultery by death (Deuteronomy_22), for the terror of the people, and for their avoiding of that sin; the same merciful God foreseeing also how hard (occasion being taken from this law) the issue of this might be to the women, by reason of the roughness of the men; lusting, perhaps, after other women, and loathing their own wives; he more graciously provided against such kind of wife-killing by a law, mitigating the former, and allowed the putting away a wife in the same case, concerning which that fatal law was given; namely, in the case of adultery. (in other words God allowed divorce so that men would not falsely accuse their wives of adultery in order to have them killed in order that they could have a new and different wife when they tired of the old). So that that law of divorce, in the exhibition of it, implied their hearts to be hard; and, in the use of it, they shewed them to be carnal."

 
 

“But from the beginning (of creation) it hath not been so” (look at Gen 2:24)

 

Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 
 

God’s marriage law at creation had them only joining together, being one flesh, nothing

was said about divorce, thus divorce was not an option. The thrust of Christ’s teaching

here is that God’s original intent concerning marriage is going to be restored in the New

Covenant

 

Mat 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.

 
 

This clearly looks back at the question raised in v 3 . . .

 

Mat 19:3 And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a manto put away his wife for every cause?

 
Remember there was a controversy among the Jews concerning the divorce law under the
law of Moses (Deut 24:1-4), one group (Hillel) said “for any (every) cause” (Mt 19:3), and
the other (Shammai) said “only for adultery (Mt 19:9),”here Christ settles the matter “only
for fornication” this is what was meant in Deut 24:1 (which we are not under, turn there) . . .
 
 
 

Deu 24:1 When a man taketh a wife, and marrieth her, then it shall be, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing (uncleanness; KJV) in her, that he shall write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

 
 

“Unseemly thing” ASV“uncleanness” KJV the Heb word “ervah”is defined by BDB as

such . . .

1) nakedness, nudity, shame, pudenda

1a) pudenda (implying shameful exposure)

1b) nakedness of a thing, indecency, improper behaviour

1c) exposed, undefended (figuratively)

 

Our Lord tells us that the equivalent of “Unseemly thing” ASV “uncleanness” KJV the

Heb word “ervah”in Deut 24:1 is equal to the Gr word “pornea” which is commonly translated

“fornication” in most older versions and “sexual immorality” in most newer versions, this

word is defined by Thayer’s Greek lexicon literally as thus . . .

1) illicit sexual intercourse

1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.

1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18

1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman;

 

Thus Christ, the Word that was God settles this dispute concerning OT law.

 

Mat 19:10 The disciples say unto him, If the case of the man is so with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.

 
 

Since it wasn’t so easy to get a divorce under Moses the disciples (who are present

observing this discourse between Jesus and the Pharisees) conclude that maybe its better

not to marry, let us see what Jesus’ answer is . . .

 

Mat 19:11 But he said unto them, Not all men can receive this saying, but they to whom it is given.

Mat 19:12 For there are eunuchs, that were so born from their mother's womb: and there are eunuchs, that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

 
 

Being a eunuch is to do without sexual relations, God has put that desire in most people

for 2 reasons . . .

 

1) That individuals would desire a spouse, be fruitful and fill the earth with

their children (Gen 1:28), and . . .

 

2) That their desires would be towards their lawful mates and not others (1 Cor 7:2)

 

God through the apostle Paul addresses this question in 1 Cor 7 (turn there, 1 Cor 7:1-9),

 

1Co 7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." (being a eunuch; being celibate)

1Co 7:2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality (fornications), each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

1Co 7:3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

1Co 7:4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

1Co 7:5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1Co 7:6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.

1Co 7:7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. (Here the apostle is referring to being a eunuch; being celibate)

1Co 7:8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am.

1Co 7:9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (ESV)

 
 

So we should be able to conclude that sure if one doesn’t partake in marital relations they

can spend more time in the things of the Lord, but God has put that desire in most people

and eventually that desire will need to be fulfilled, it is God’s will that we fulfill it in a

    lawful manner, in a scriptural marriage (turn to Mk 10:10)

 

Mar 10:10 And in the house the disciples asked him again of this matter.

 
 

It seems that the disciples may have been a little confused about the matter of

marriage/divorce/and remarriage, remember Christ and the Pharisees were discussing

things under the law of Moses, maybe they thought that this would apply to them under

the rule of the Messiah, in the Christian dispensation, let us see what He says (Mk 10:11-

12) . . .

 

Mar 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her:

Mar 10:12 and if she herself shall put away her husband, and marry another, she committeth adultery.

 

“WHOSOEVER shall put away his wife, and marry committeth adultery (continues to

commit adultery) against her” the same goes for a woman that divorces her husband,

This would include the one who put their spouse away because fornication (Mt 19:9),

because that exception was only allowed under the law of Moses, which has been

abolished (Eph 2:15), nailed to the cross of Christ (Col 2:14), Christians are dead to it
(Rom 7:4), God’s law concerning marriage has been restored under Christ.
 

Also we know that Christ is speaking of the New Covenant here because under Moses

women were not allowed to divorce their husbands, just husbands their wives, and that

only for the cause of fornication (Mt 19:9; Deut 24:1), but Greek and Roman civil law
allowed for women to divorce their husbands.
 

The gospel account of Luke gives us the same teaching, divorce and remarriage is not

allowed (look at Luke 16:18) . . .

 

Luk 16:18 Every one that putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth one that is put away from a husband committeth adultery.

 

Everyone is accountable to this law, Christ’s law concerning divorce and remarriage

 

What is the main thrust of this teaching? The Lord tells us in Mk 10:6-9 (turn there) . . .

 

Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them.

Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife;

Mar 10:8 and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh.

Mar 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

 
 

Plain and simple divorce is not allowed! If one does it, they sin, and if they remarry they

are continuing in, practicing the sin of adultery (1 John 3:7-10)

 
 
 

1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

1Jo 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

1Jo 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

1Jo 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (ESV)

 
 
 
Let us note that God has not forced us to live with a spouse that is abusive, or exhibits any
such other criminal action against us or our children, He has given us options, He gave us
governments and laws that are designed to be the Lord’s avenger for us, to protect us (Rom
13:1-7), and also look at 1 Cor 7:10-11 . . .
 
 

1Co 7:10 But unto the married I give charge, yea not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband (this is a reference to our Lord’s statement “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” Mt 19:6; Mk 10:9)

1Co 7:11 (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband); and that the husband leave not his wife.

 
 

What is this saying? Do not separate, do not divorce, but if you do go against the

Lord’s commands, don’t plan on getting remarried, it is not an option, staying single or

reconciliation are the only options, again look down at v 39 (1 Cor 7:39) . . .

 

1Co 7:39 A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

 

“One husband, one wife, for life” that is God’s plan in the New Covenant (1 Cor 7:12-16)

 
 
 

1Co 7:12 But to the rest say I, not the Lord: If any brother hath an unbelieving wife, and she is content to dwell with him, let him not leave her.

1Co 7:13 And the woman that hath an unbelieving husband, and he is content to dwell with her, let her not leave her husband.

1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

1Co 7:15 Yet if the unbelieving departeth, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us in peace.

1Co 7:16 For how knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou, O husband, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

 
 
 
Again, if an unbeliever separates from you or divorces you, what can you do? Nothing really,
you cant physically restrain someone from leaving, that would be unlawful, nor would I
recommend signing any legal documents concerning a divorce, but that wont stop someone
who is determined, whatever happens, happens in theses sort of cases, you done your best
to propagate God’s will, but again it would be better if you stayed together. Perhaps over
time you can persuade your spouse to believe and obey the gospel, then you would be on
the road which God wants us to walk, seeking and saving that which is lost (Lk 19:10).
 
 

Again let me take you where this is summed up, v 39 . . .

 
 
 
1Co 7:39 A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
 

“One husband, one wife, for life” that is God’s plan in the New Covenant, (Mt 5:31-32).

 

Mat 5:31  It was said also, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 

Mat 5:32 but I say unto you, that every one that putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, maketh her an adulteress: and whosoever shall marry her when she is put away committeth adultery.

 

What does this say? This is similar to Mt 19:9 except it does not address the divorcing ones outcome if he remarried. It is fairly simple and in alignment with Christ’s teaching on marriage/divorce/remarriage . . .

 

Jews in Jesus' day thought all they had to do was make up the paperwork and the divorce was done, but it had lasting effects, Christ here sets Moses' law straight, everyone that divorces his wife except for the cause fornication (Deut 4:2) is basically forcing her into another marriage in which she would be committing adultery against her true, first scriptural husband, because most individuals are not given the gift of celibacy (1 Cor 7:1-7), thus they would be likely to seek another unscriptural spouse or just sleep around unlawfully fulfilling the desires God put in them for lawful reasons (Gen 1:28), and whosoever married a woman that was divorced, for fornication or not, even if she was the innocent party and her husband committed fornication or adultery against her, whosoever marries her that is divorced is committing adultery, thus seeing that these sins were the outcome of divorce, don't do it!

 

“One husband, one wife, for life” that is God’s plan in the New Covenant, in these last days. 

 
 
For a deeper look at marriage in the New Covenant click HERE
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